By Shep Hayes/DFP Staff
To impersonate Charles Barkley, the first half was “turrible.”
It took 7:24 of play between Maine and BU Thursday night before either team broke the double digit barrier. A 3-pointer from senior guard Darryl Partin pushed BU over the hump from nine points to 12. BU would end up on 12-4 run to build its first lead while Maine would not break the 10-point barrier for another 3:52, with a layup from freshman guard Xavier Pollard. The Black Bears had only six points when the clock reached the mid-point of the half.
So, it is not really a stretch to say it took a while for both teams to warm up. Going even further in depth, there was a period, from 16:55 left in the first to 13:53, when the score remained a paltry 4-2. The ball changed hands seven times in that stretch, and both teams were able to extend possessions with offensive rebounds. Still, neither could find the hoop. It was an ugly time of basketball.
The opening minutes played right into a terrible half for both teams. BU shot only 39.4 percent from the field and 18.2 percent from beyond the arc in the first. The Terriers scored an average of 0.903 points per offensive possession in the first. According to Basketball State.com, that figure is below BU’s overall season average of 0.975 points per possession and conference average of 1.05 points per possession. BU had six turnovers in the half, only saved by Maine’s eight.
The Black Bears were much worse. They finished the first half with a 27.6 percent shooting percentage, though their three-point percentage was 27.3, not all that terrible. Maine was saved by a run late in the half, which pushed its points per possession on offense to an average 0.639. That’s well below Maine’s season averages of 1.019 overall and 0.984 in conference, according to Basketball State.
Shooting free throws with no benefits
The Terriers stepped to the line 25 times in the game, five times in the first and 20 times in the second. Out of those 25 free-throw attempts, BU made only 16. The 64.0 percent performance only helped to sink BU’s free throw percentage, which is now at 69.4 percent on the season, seventh in the league, according to Basketball State.
The worst part? BU’s free-throw attempts as a percentage of field goal attempts tonight was 45.4 percent. The Terriers had so many chances to pick up points for almost no effort and they failed.
There is good news. On the whole, the Terriers aren’t going to the line that much. In conference play, BU is also seventh in free throw attempts as a percentage of field goal attempts, at 32.4 percent.
A terrible night from McLemore and Edwards was a massive boost for BU
Holding senior guard Gerald McLemore and freshman guard Justin Edwards to 2-for-12 and 3-for-13 respectively was huge for BU. The duo are excellent shooters and both took an average more than 27-percent of Maine’s shots entering Thursday according to KenPom. McLemore was shooting 40.6 percent on 3-point attempts, but BU held him to 1-for-7 in that category.
And now a message to Malik Thomas
WHAT ARE YOU DOING, MALIK? Jones gave you the start. You went 1-for-6. You had two--TWO--points in your 17 minutes. Dear God, man, you can do better than that. Please do better than that. Even though it was a bit of a small sample size, we’ve seen you become a beast in the advanced stats. 1-for-6 will not help that. C’mon, Malik.
Your three rebounds were nice, though. And it was fun to see you get the start.